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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Full Stack Overflow Developer

I'll talk a little about the way I think we should use all that information out there to do our "job".

Every now and then, we all visit stackoverflow.com to get some answers. Most of the cases can be categorised to the following:

  1. we don't know how to do something
  2. we get errors from the language/framework we use
  3. we get errors from the environment (OS, server etc)

I totally agree with trying to find an answer online but there is an internal before & after hook I like to use in at least the first and second case:


Before hook: should I know about it?


Regardless of whether you are new to a language/framework or not, you should first think if the issue you want to resolve is something you should already know.

If yes, then it's better to start reading the related documentation instead of trying to find a prepared solution. It is a more time consuming process but it's something that will save you time later on when you will face similar issues.

If you get your food always delivered, you will not learn how to cook it. And if you cook it yourself, you might do it better.

If no, then skip and check the after hook.

After hook: should I learn about it?


After finding an answer for an issue, it's good to think: "Would I resolve it on my own if I tried harder?".

You found an answer, it's not the software that gave it to you but a human. That means that someone else knew the answer. This also means that his/her knowledge on the answer came either by reading something you haven't or by facing at some point the same issue.

If after an answer you get, you feel like "Hmm, I'd like to be able to answer like that" then it would be good to start thinking of what you could read, what you're missing that would help you on this.

Reality


Well, we don't have the time to act like this on a daily basis.
So, if you find an answer, you'd better try to understand it before using it and keep notes on stuff that you should read when you find the time.

PS: I used "documentation" a lot in this post but another great resource that not only will give you detailed answers but may even familiarise you with cases you may encounter in the future, is the tech posts being published very often by people that want to share their knowledge.


Update


After writing this post, I was told that the term "Full Stack Overflow Developer" has been used  recently (although with another meaning than the one described here) by another article (Christian Heilman) that you can read here: https://www.christianheilmann.com/2015/07/17/the-full-stackoverflow-developer/



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